6 Essentials of an Effective Design Brief

Every good project begins with a clearly defined set of objectives. A successful outcome hinges on making sure that the design agency with whom you are partnering understands precisely what you want and what you expect. This comes first and foremost from a well prepared design brief. Certainly let the designers do their thing, but by initially giving them the guidance and tools necessary to launch your project on the right foot, you will be more apt to avoid delays, miscommunication and confusion. Some important points to consider when preparing your design brief:

  1. Clarify Project Goals: What do you expect from the final product? What exactly are you trying to convey with this particular project? By laying out a clear strategy and your anticipated end result, you give the design team much-needed direction. Direction is essential for anyone to be able to perform their job successfully. In your brief, elaborate on the overall intent of the project, the message you wish to send and the feelings to be conveyed through the design.
  2. Company Profile: Designers work best when they understand something about the client for whom they are working. Filling them in on your company background, mission and overall philosophy will help familiarise the design agency with your brand. For the duration of the project, you need to create a relationship with the designers, one in which they come to know your business and subsequently get comfortable with your core values.
  3. Timelines and Milestones: Knowing when pieces must be delivered is extremely important for the design team, as they have to be able to plan and execute accordingly. Additionally, it is important to give them an overall feel for the budget with which you have to work. This will enable them to better accommodate your needs given any financial constraints.
  4. Audience: With any project, the target audience needs to be identified first. Who is this campaign directed toward? Why are they being targeted? Any information you can provide regarding gender, age, socio economic status and any other relevant factors regarding that main demographic will be incredibly useful to the designers as they strategise in terms of what may work for one group versus another.
  5. Overall Specifications: Getting down to the nitty gritty of the project, you need to provide the designers with any known facts. For instance, is this going to be for online use? Print? Some other channel? Is copy involved, and if so, are you going to be providing that? What is the overall size and scope of the job? Perhaps basic questions, and yet incredibly helpful to the design team as they begin their work.
  6.  Limitations and/or Restrictions: Questions regarding copyrighted images or pictures should be addressed at the outset. Also, if your company has certain brand guidelines to which you must adhere, it’s always a good idea to go over this in your initial design brief.

Your brief does not have to be a lengthy document. In fact, the writing should be succinct and to the point. But remember to make sure those points are clearly stated along with any pertinent details and your expectations regarding the project. This will help make things run much smoother for everyone involved.

If you want to chat about an upcoming project and create the perfect design brief get in touch.


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